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Topics - Lord Dick Tim

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The Gallery / Art of Desert Asp
« on: April 12, 2013, 05:38:52 am »
These are my first concept sketches of Arashi foot soldiers wearing long trench coats, helmets and gas masks.
The uniform influence is heavily German, and very stripped down from the usual flair we see in GOI, function over form.
I'd love pointers and advice about uniform modifications here or, preferably, in the thread I started in the world forum section discussing ground forces in the world of GOI

World / Making the infantry of Arashi
« on: April 12, 2013, 04:03:00 am »
Hello everybody,

I want to start a dialogue about building a basis for the ground forces for the world of GOI.  I recently started a story in the galley called "Desert Asp" as a way to get an example out there of where the real killing and dying would take place between the nations that exist in this fictional space.

Now there are some glaring mistakes in the original post, that I want to retrograde later as we refine the idea of what a ground force would comprise and what exactly this conflict is about.

We have a lot of potential latitude to make some wild assumptions.  GOI is largely about the air ships, it's likely that cannon that'll be established later as the adventure mode gets closer will be targeted to that sphere and not have much focus on what we create here.  With that we have a chance to create a unique story space for enthusiastic writers to provide accounts within a collected identity with unique names, places and historical accounts that will have a common synergy creating a richer, more believable fiction.

So let's start with whatever you want to talk about, let's get crazy into detail, I'm talking down to the amount of bullets in a magazine to the people in charge of conflicts. 

Desert Asp

A battalion of troops belonging to a regiment of battalions in the Arashi infantry corp.

First things first, some things I've already said but want some support for or arguments against.

I've described the Asps as a Battalion of a few hundred, I'm thinking the actual number would be closer to 900 not including auxiliary/logistics, for a fully manned fighting unit.  A battalion would be comprised of a number of companies, broken down by platoons, then further into squads and fire teams.  This is a classic infantry break down and lends itself well to the Arashi identity of being descended from western European stock.

Their commander officer is a Lord Commander, the lord part being more flavor of story and less relevant, but the Commander grade may be appropriate for a Battalion level CO position.  The rank however is not realy appropriate for an infantry commander, being traditionally a naval rank.  A lieutenant colonel or major might have been a better choice.

Above this would either be a full "vulture" Colonel at the regimental head, or Lt. General.  I like the idea of using the national bird to represent the colonel rank insignia not unlike American forces using an Eagle.

The weapon I pulled from the top of my head is a fictional one, a Finnish mk25.  Finland is a Nordic country, not western European but has long been known to have amazing marksmen during the ww1 to ww2 era.  The weapon could be changed, or could be an Anglean manufactured weapon widely used for its durability and stopping power, not unlike an Ak-47.

The asps wear long coats, possibly thin walled and made of an breathable material that would blend well with the desert.  I'd also imagine some kind of head dress would be needed to protect the face, head and neck from the desert sun. 

The conflict

I describe this as a Jihad, which can be defined as,
: a crusade for a principle or belief
this believe could be an independent and free Arashi state, pushing foreign invaders out of their traditional and cultural borders.

The use of the word Jihad might not seem appropriate given its current application, not to mention some of the current parallels that could be drawn from the cannon and today's very real conflicts.  Yet I stand behind the use of it as a word that best describes the struggle, unless somebody has a better one.

The Belligerent

I portray the guild as superior in number, technology, but not in superior stock.  The name of the army, or nick name is Brass Hat, I don't have a reason for this and i am unsure if this is a slur or the actual name of the enemy unit.

I do like the idea of a Carthagian approach to warfar for the Arashi, being comprised of several mixed units with various strengths, and a more Roman effect to the Guild.  The guild would have superior numbers and equipment with several allied factions marching along side, but would be weakened by disagreements about points of law, military tactics, or nepotism putting under performing people in important military positions.

The conflict, with the military powers dressed in this way, might have started with several initial merchant victories as their larger armies barreled over a disorganized and unready Arashi state, but would grind to a halt as they entered the deep desert, unprepared for the eventualities of desert warfare or the guerilla nature of Arashi fighting techniques.

This would not translate into clear defeats, as the Merchants would still retain superior numbers and supply, but could be seen as a bungling of the campiegn by leaders at home seeking a quick military victory, resulting in rash and knee jerk decisions that result in severe Merchant loss of life and defeat against inferior forces causing a possible cascade retreat across the front till a new line could be established.

I'm unsure how this conflict would conclude, but a white peace might be fair to say, both sides making no significant terms against the other.

I'm sure chemical warfare would have been in heavy use...  And I've rambled on enough for now.  I seriously need to organize my thoughts better.

The Gallery / Desert Asp
« on: April 11, 2013, 02:50:23 am »
“INCOMING!”  We heard the scream of the shells before the double impacts, twin heavy flak cannon rounds striking an artillery encampment 200 meters behind me, the rounds stored near the heavy guns cooking off with a third explosion that sent the world into a gray colored and ringing mix of violent shaking and the sudden need to vomit.

Third company, second platoon Arashi Desert Asps, we were stuck in along a rocky finger above the wastes engaging a battalion of Guild Brass hats that had been advancing under the cover of an artillery battery miles away.
The shots had not been very accurate, bless the maker, Guild technology not prepared for the harsh Arashi desert, the biting sand likely gumming up the firing mechanism.  Yet they had found their marks in the last hour, and the shots had been getting closer and closer.

The crack of a shot whizzed past my ear, the sudden shout of Brass hat foot sloggers charging over the ridge to the north bringing me out of my daze as I became keenly aware of my vulnerability out in the open.
Diving to the ground I crawled quickly into a trench works next to a line of troops in long desert coats firing away with quick action closed bolt rifles, acing targets from a distance over 150 meters out with iron sights through dust and sand blown about by wind and the sudden barrage.

For some reason I decided to grab up my scope and take a look through it, noticing the advancing file had donned leather gas masks with sophisticated guild re-breathers.  Now why would they...  It dawned on me seconds before the canisters started to fall in front of and into the trenches, but a quick shout down the line had been time enough for the alarm to go up, a loud hand cranked siren warning declaring MOPP 4 had saved the vast majority of them from a horrid death from mustard gas that filled the trenches with an orange mist.

“FIX BAYONETS!”  Came the order down the line, my hand fumbling for the spear of metal that fitted on an anchor on the bottom of my rifle before bringing the Finland Mk25 up around to crack a shot into the torso of a screaming Brass Hat only meters away, quickly followed by a swarm of gold coated infantry with their cruel thin scimitars and one handed carbines, shooting and swinging like a horde of bees descending on desert foxes in their holes. 

My world became one of blood, screaming and horror as I committed one atrocity after the next, tearing the re-breather from one trooper to bury his face in the mustard gas that had gathered in the trench before loosing my rifle to a back handed saber slash, moving to my belt knife and jamming it to the hilt into the Brass Hat's throat before pushing him off, taking up his carbine and shooting another in the back.

I could see the company flag rise up in the swirling sands, riddled with bullet wholes yet proudly standing around a ring of rallying fighters, a coiled up desert asp, it's eyes afire and mouth agape as it struck out.  That simple sight brought up within me a power I cannot readily describe, hope?  Anger?  Rage?
It didn't matter, I was killing Guilders, the Arashi Jihad had been long to push the profiteers from our lands and our victories had been to little, to few, and always bitterly won.  I pulled my second dagger across the hamstring of another merc running along the trench line above me, pulling him down into the mud and blood, plunging my blade repeatedly through the soft tissue under the rib cage before stomping on his face and emptying the carbines clip in a knot of fighters that had gotten stuck in a trapped offshoot of the trench works.

When I finally managed to into the arms of my fellow Asps I couldn't recall how many I'd killed, or how many of my comrades own bodies I'd stepped over to get there.  I just kept pulling the trigger, advancing forward in some kind of reckless counter charge that had risen a berserker's rage deep in the blood of all the men and women of the unit.

Before I knew it we were in the enemies ranks, stabbing and fighting, any kind of cohesion becoming lost in the blood lust that had consumed the troops as they went to the butchers work of slitting the throats of the wounded and lame before turning on the ammo caches and cooking them off in a hail of fire and light.

There must have been some direction in the fighting, our own sergeants leading the charges into critical areas as officers used the momentum to full effect, pushing the enemies charge down their own throat while sowing discord and panic across the superior forces battle lines.

Later I was to discover that a pair of Goldfish airships had torn through the enemies defenses during a daring raid, having intercepted intel that the overall commander of the Guilds forward forces would be on a borrowed Yesha Pyramidion, inspecting the new ship that was suppose to turn the tides of the war while he watched from an elevated position his ground forces crush the 'paltry force of desert rats' that had stalled the advance. 

With the Lt. General dead communications had fallen apart as in, typical Guilder fashion, the senior officers squabbled for control over the ground and air forces.  Our own Commander had taken the initiative to spend the lives of his men causing the most discord and panic he could, moving to the field himself and raising the banner in a desperate counter attack, moving up all the reserve units to punch a ragged hole right through the middle of the Brass Hat ranks.   The following carnage was unspeakable, hundreds killed thousands as a panic gripped conscripted and hired mercenaries that had not the will to die for a strip of sand in a place far from home.  Their Guilder officers were murdered during the retreat, yet the Asp knows no mercy, the desert gives no quarter.  They where gunned down by their own machine gun nests as they fled out into the desert, their water rations destroyed, the precious liquid scattered out on the sands so even the survivors would succumb to exposure and dehydration.

We took their guns as prizes, their heads as trophies and watched from afar as the horizon glowed with fire, the artillery batteries miles away torched by Arashi Goldfish that had themselves scored a cruel victory over their guilder counterparts.

We left the corpses for the desert, as was proper, and began the process of identifying our own dead and securing our new forward position.  Sitting on a box of ammo I watched out across the desert, a half moon bathing the dunes with a twinkling sparkle that looked like little jewels reflecting the starlight above.  I barely perceived a body move in behind me, my attention so fixed on the sands ahead that I nearly jumped out of my skin when he spoke.  He was short, with a broad featured face that was pitted and leathery.  I couldn't see the color of his eyes in the dark, yet they were still piercing, holding me fast like a mouse beneath a cats paw, “You fought well today son”.  He said, and finally my eyes found the rank insignia on his color, the red sash across his chest that denoted lordship, the Lord Commander himself, David.
“T-thank you sir”, I managed to stammer as he came up on the foot rise with me, looking out over the desert much in the same way I had been.  His face lost its hardness for a moment, and his tone softened as he seemed to remember some fond memory, “ What's your name son?”  He asked, turning to look at me again, which I'm glad the chill night was cooling my skin from breaking out into a terrible sweat, so nervous was I.
“Richard-Timothy my lord”, I said, using the formal title though no actual lordship was recognized in the league.
“Ah he said,” and I could sense his smile, though I couldn't see it, my eyes focused straight ahead out into the sands, again thankful that the night masked the rising color in my face.  “So your the infamous Dick Tim”.  My head fell in shame, the name had become something of a company joke in the months since I had joined, a name I had been cursed with since birth due to a loosing bet my father had with a brother.  That was me, the family joke.  “Well Richard, if I had a hundred more soldiers like you, we'd win this war tomorrow.  So chin up, and keep your eyes sharp, I'll be keeping an eye on your progress.”
“Aye sir!” I said, feeling much improved from the ego boosting, setting to my watch with something of a renewed vigor, still feeling the warmth of pride in my chest after I was relieved to a hole in the trench wall to curl up and go to sleep.

The Lounge / Learn how to code?
« on: March 22, 2013, 06:13:38 am »
I want to start a dialogue on learning how to code, and what we can do as lamen, amateurs or the generally inexperienced to begin a learning process without expensive courses, or advanced previous understanding.

I'm interested in this because we may all here be fluent in the use of our fancy machines, but very few of us can ever really create much with them.  It's like reading a book, understanding English, but not knowing how to write it.

I've had some success finding a few websites that offer free, basic course work on how to code in different languages, is one such website.

As more and more people become fluent in the use of programming I imagine the education bar is going to be lowered in the near future, almost like how any complex engineering marvel is eventually reduced to the knowledge of a mechanic, which is reduced to the knowledge of a hobbyist, to finally down to the lamen.   
So I'd like to get a jump on gathering up and learning resources that are out there.  Anyone have any suggestions?

The Lounge / Let's plan this news paper idea
« on: March 01, 2013, 04:58:51 am »
Ok, decided to put this topic in the lounge since its not rp, but more like talking about rp out of rp yet acknowledging we need some kind of rp.

So in another thread, which I'm not going to link cause it's a pain to do with the iPad, a fellow forum rat expressed a desire to see more of the news paper articles that appeared in the early days of the game.  Dialogue flowed, people pledge commitments and now I'm here calling it out and saying, well, what are we going to write about?

Obvious targets are the Cogs league and the Bounty boards for starters.  Now Presentation is a big thing, and it really boils down to just how tacky do we want to be?

Another topic, as I ramble along with this disorganized stream of thought, is how to approach the developers as characters in their own world.  For example, an art team member could be interviewed from the perspective of a shipwrights, or an engineer well... Like an engineer.  Their answers could remain largely unaltered because the questions where done from an in character perspective.

Q.  What kind of wood did you use in the construction of the Goldfish
A.  We used a pine for the look of the grain, as well as the softer color.

Same goes for questioning crew and captains.

Q.  What went threw your mind Zill, down by 3 points and suddenly your ally looses communication(disconnected) with you on the radio?
A.  Ha, well, I thought that's it, we're dead.  The cloud whaler was bearing down hard and her glorious guns and awesome captain just came right down on us like a vengeful god of the heavens.

So, thoughts, ideas?

The Gallery / Cloud Whaler
« on: February 23, 2013, 01:56:48 am »
She is a sight, a sight to see.  An exotic girl from the deep south, her skin dark with the suns kiss, her crown bleached white and full covering her from head to toe with its glorious luster.
She's the shape of a women, yet one raised with a Spartans adherence to discipline and control.  Thin, lithe with strong legs good for long marches yet not sprinting.  Her stomach is flat and hips wide with the shoulders and arms of a life made to toil with one hand in the field, the other balancing a babe at her side.

Yet she is not obedient like some cultured or city lady, her eyes flash with pride, her tongue is a vipers and her words spit like fire when provoked.  A sharp wit and steely will that cannot be mastered by any man.  She is strong, and powerful and demands more of her partner then can be given, but he must give it.  Sweat, blood, bone, flesh, sinew and soul must be layed before her and even then it will not be enough.

She will never fail you, should you not fail her, she is the Cloud Whaler, and I am her Captain.

Q&A / The Tip Jar, a collection of community tips
« on: February 23, 2013, 01:02:15 am »
Hello fellow Icarians, collected below will be the various tips, pointers and witty sayings provided by captains, crews and sharp tongue or minded observers.

Post updated 3/12/2013

The Tips

1.  If you want to turn faster, go in reverse!  A sudden reduction in speed will greatly improve your turning velocity!
2.  Get up to top speed faster by using a short blast of moonshine! 
3.  Stop suddenly by throwing the engine in full reverse and blasting a touch of moonshine then put the throttle in nuetral.
4.  If you need to change horizontal fields rapidly up and down, dont use chute vents and hydrogen immediately after each other.  It takes a few seconds for one to cancel out the momemtum of the other.

5.  Always wack a component with the mallet before using a fire extinguisher! 
6.  If your an engineer, take out that spy glass and spot some ships! 
7. When captaining dont bring a spyglass, fill that third spot with something to improve your tacticle advantages at the helm.
8.  The Mercury Field guns primary purpose is to knock out enemy ship components.  Aim for the engines of escaping ships, or the guns of approaching ones

9.   Left click on the name of a ship in the match lobby, this will show you a detailed layout of its fitting.
10.  Use the terrain to hide in!  Some ships can get very low to the ground and can use hills or wreckage as shields as they approach an enemy.

More Tips!   The following where submitted by forum users in this thread.

11.  Before you ever captain in a live game learn the other two rolls and learn them well.
12.  Some captains suffer from tunnel vision, if you spot something let your captain know verbally.
13. If you just spawned and your ally is getting double teamed on the other side of the map don't rush blindly to his aid. Sometime it is better to let your ally die to reestablish the formation, than to feed the other team a steady stream of 1v2 fights.

14.  Pick the squishiest ship on the other team and gang up on it with your team mate, forcing the other team into a steady stream of 2v1 engagements is a fast path to 5-0 victories.

15.   If you take cover in the clouds immediately change your direction and altitude when the enemy team looses spot. A good gunner will predict where you went and try to blind fire you.

16.  If you are hiding in clouds to repair tell your gunners not to shoot. A good gunner on the other team could track the path of you bullets back to the source.

17.  If an enemy ship takes cover in the clouds, and you have a large clip weapon (like a Manticore or Whirlwind) spray the clouds around where you last saw the target with bullets. The hit confirmation box will show where the target is to the other gunners on your ship.

18.  When piloting only rarely leave the helm. Even if your Balloon is down you can still pilot the ship to a safer spot and give your crew more time to repair.

19.  Know your limitations of your ship. This goes double for Squid pilots I see charging to the front of a Goldfish.
20.  Know when to run. Most maps offer some sort of cover to escape and give your crew a breather.
21.   For Engies. Know all the jumps to get around a ship. The quicker you can get to a component the higher your chances for survival.
22.   Use uninspiring ship names to throw off the other team (We Will Die, We Will Lose, We Will Blow Up). Over confidence can kill! =)
23.    If your pilot tells you to get on a particular gun, get on that gun and that gun only.
24.   Don't use lochnagar unless you've got a really powerful gun with a small clip, like the flak or the merc. Even then, I'd recommend charged instead.

25.  Your ships momentum is transferred to your bullets if you want your gunners shots to go where they aim them, have as little perpendicular movement to the bullet's path as possible.

26.  Never park a squid in the open.
27.  Your ship is not a fighter plane. It has multiple throttle positions for a reason.
28.  Make sure you have some idea of what your guns do. Dont charge face first into an enemy with a weapon that has an arming time.

Gameplay / State of the Community
« on: February 22, 2013, 04:54:59 pm »
(this post was originally made in the previous forums, with a few following posts by community members concering their thoughts on the presented issue.)

During the course of the previous day of testing and tinkering with the new game build a single thought, or phrase was brought up by a few players rather consistently. Generally there was a belief that GOI had developed a severe rift between "Awesome" players and well, everybody else.

Now, as is typical in any gaming community there is always the hardcore gamer and the casual, but rarely is it made so glaringly obvious which group a person belongs to in GOI, yet not in the typical way normally associated with many games.
Without perks, loot, extra bonuses or skills the elite players, which I really dislike using that word, are only distinguished by the crushing victories they have over other players.

Now this can't be attributed to only one person, as GOI takes a group of players on a ship, and a group of captains on a team working in concert with one another to be successful. Instead it's being attributed to a small upper class of players that regularly dominate casual or random crews without even being members of a clan or other social structure.

I'm talking mostly about us, the forum rats, the green names on friends lists that discuss strategies and dig through patch notes and debate tactics.
It's seems our debilitating advantage over most other players is communication. We talk, we are familiar with one another, we can adapt to each others tactics and strategies. We know who can shoot, who can fly, and who can keep a ship in the air with pixie dust and happy thoughts.

One instance during the day, a player was frustrated with repeated losses, crushing defeats and incapable crew mates and asked for some help from the lobby. I joined, a second later my ship is fully crewed with veteran players, all more then capable of outstanding performance. Instead of being happy for the help the player was further exasperated by what he saw as exactly why he had been loosing before, we had all automatically clumped together and true to form carried the match and slaughtered the opposition.

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